Retention marketing — are you doing enough to stand out?

Customer retention is crucial for ongoing success, but standing out in an inbox full of emails is challenging.

You know the drill — it’s easier and cheaper to reconvert existing customers and website visitors than it is to acquire and convert new ones.

Research from Harvard University shows a 5% increase in customer retention can generate a 95% boost in profits. But bringing customers and website visitors back to your store is easier said than done.

This short guide to retention marketing for ecommerce explores the key strategies behind successful remarketing campaigns of growth brands, focusing on:

  1. Timing
  2. Personalization
  3. Incentives.

Let’s dive in.

What is retention marketing?

Simply put, it’s marketing targeted to previous customers and website visitors. The aim of retention marketing for ecommerce sellers is to progress customers from a one-time visitor into a repeat customer.

You may have heard it called remarketing, brand loyalty marketing, or lifecycle marketing. The goal is the same: keeping customers happy and engaged so they keep coming back for more (and telling people when they do).

The importance of retention marketing for growth brands

Retention marketing is super important for ecommerce brands for three key reasons:

  1. It’s cost effective

Retention marketing is more cost-effective than traditional marketing. It costs five times less to attract an existing customer than acquire a new one, because you’ve already done the hard work.

  1. It increases ROI

When you convert an existing customer, you increase the ROI from your original customer acquisition campaign. Whether it was a printed advertisement or a social media ad, the more repeat sales you get, the more cost-effective that campaign was.

  1. It creates brand loyalty

Retention marketing creates brand loyalty. The more often a customer returns to your website and converts, the more their loyalty develops. The advantages of brand loyalty are vast, including increased customer lifetime value (CLV) and ongoing promotion from brand ambassadors.

How to build a strategic retention marketing campaign

Customer retention doesn’t happen automatically — you need a strategy. And it requires more than a semi-regular email announcing your latest product lines.

To get you on the road of developing a robust and effective strategy for customer retention, let’s look at three key tactics used by successful ecommerce brands.


Retention marketing is an ongoing process that continues throughout the entirety of a customer relationship. Crucially, you can never start too soon — especially if someone hasn’t yet converted.

Nimble Activewear begins retention marketing the moment someone abandons their cart. Nimble uses the Okendo-Klaviyo integration to pull user-generated reviews into its abandoned cart (AC) flow — creating valuable social proof that re-engages website visitors and turns them into customers.

And it works, with Nimble Activewear seeing a 6% increase in click-through rates and 16% growth in revenue per recipient.


Personalisation is a powerful way to build the loyalty behind customer retention. Personalised content creates an immediate one-to-one connection that customers relate to and want to experience again.

Dog treat brand WAG generates super-personalised customer retention emails using the Okendo-Klaviyo integration. The Customer Data Sync tool collects customer insights to auto-generate personalised product recommendations, while segmenting email campaigns based on demographics and purchasing behaviour.

WAG’s use of personalisation creates retention marketing campaigns that customers find relevant and interesting, stimulating purchasing motivators that encourages them to return.

This appreciation that “no two dogs are the same” also shows customers that WAG cares about them and their dogs, generating an impressive 300% increase in placed order rate.


Customers need a reason to remain loyal. But in a world where customers are driven by meaningful connections, sending a generic “hey, we missed you — here’s $5 off” doesn’t cut it anymore.

Beginning Boutique has transformed how it retains customers, using the Okendo-Klaviyo integration’s Event Sync tool to generate meaningful communications that encourage re-engagement.

Not only does this entice customers back to Beginning Boutique’s website, but does so in a helpful and sincere way, which has increased coupon code redemptions by 53%.

Retention marketing is crucial for ecommerce success.

Nimble Activewear, WAG, and Beginning Boutique all saw results because they used leveraged data, personalization and UGC to engage customers and build a relationship of ongoing value.

And with the new Okendo-Klaviyo integration, you can do the same.

Learn more about the new Okendo-Klaviyo integration and how it can benefit your ecommerce business.

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